One World: 24 Hours on Planet Earth
Walker Books, 2022
40pp., hbk., RRP $A27.99
It is one minute to midnight, Greenwich Mean Time, April 21 and as the clock strikes midnight there, the reader begins an amazing journey around the world to see what is happening in other places at this precise time, whether that be having breakfast or even afternoon tea.
But this is not the more common snapshot of what people are doing at a specific time. but a glimpse at what the natural wildlife are up to, the threats they face and in some cases, what’s being done to mitigate them. We travel to the polar bears in the Arctic; to sea turtles in India struggling to the sea after they’ve just hatched; to kangaroos fighting both the climate and each other in Mutawintji National Park in NSW; and so on around the world as different species respond to the time zone of their environment.
The date was chosen because at that time of the year there is something exciting happening in the animal kingdom around the world, and coincidentally it was Earth Day, celebrated since 1970 “to diversify, educate and activate the environmental movement worldwide. and act as a call to action to acknowledge that “the clock has struck and it is time to make a difference together”. Accompanied by stunning illustrations, each of which includes the two little children who are taking us on the journey so that there is a storyline rather than just a time-lapse diary, the reader is introduced to creatures like the polar bear whose plight may be familiar as the warming planet melts their icy home to the not-so familiar owl monkeys of Ecuador whose habitat is being destroyed in the search for oil. And while it might seem impossible for a young reader in Australia to help them, nevertheless there are things that each of us can do to daily to make a difference. So books such as these which raise awareness in interesting, fascinating ways are perfect for helping us to think globally and act locally.
And there is always the sideline of investigating why it’s midnight in Greenwich but midday in Sydney!